Skip to main content
Join Now

< Back to All

Superhero wanted. See Twitter for qualifications

April 23, 2013

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

By Eric Brown

While LinkedIn and other networking platforms have become comparatively mainstream in job recruiting, an emerging trend may signal an important change in that process.  Twitter, the social media giant, is starting to see its platform being used for recruiting needs.

Twitter is a social network where small blurbs or bits of information—tweets—are shared across a network of connected individuals (followers). “Hashtags” are also used as a means of grouping specific messages, by using a hashtag (#) followed by a word (example: “#ASE”). Used in recruiting, some employers are posting job openings that way while job seekers are actually using tweets to post their resumes.

As an employer, most organizations post their positions on their organization’s webpage as well as other external job posting sites.  A flood of resumes ensue. As every recruiter knows, the task of searching through resume after resume, plowing through wordy description after wordy description of inflated worth, is daunting to say the least.  While that practice is certainly not entirely over, Twitter can have the effect of minimizing some of that text.

A tweet is only 140 characters long at most.  To the untrained Twitter eye, that may seem like a small amount; but ultimately, if you are imaginative, have good word power, and know what you want to say you can most likely say what you need to say in a tweet.

Assume your organization posts this tweet about an open position, as well as included a link to the actual position description:  

“ASE looking for a qualified superhero.  Minimum 5 people saved, must hold valid Superhero license. Cape not required.”

Now, someone in the Twitter universe sees your tweet, feels like they may be a good match, and responds thusly:

“Veteran Superhero with public speaking experience. Powers include deception; for good only. Holds key to the city of Detroit.”

(author’s note: ASE is not looking for a Superhero at the moment, so please do not apply. Yet.) Still, per this example, you can see the benefits of only 140 characters.  Those responding have to be to the point, and if none of those points catch your eye as a recruiter, you’ve only spent 10 or 15 seconds on them.

Still, the Twitter world is not entirely conducive to recruiting.  It lacks the ability to target specific individuals, post real job ads, etc. However, Josh Bersin, Principle and Founder of Bersin and Deloitte, feels optimistic. “Companies see its potential and they know that over time it’ll get more sophisticated.”

There are some obstacles to overcome for the trend to take flight. For example, much like Facebook, candidates open themselves up for potential employers to see everything they tweet about, personal things. Could this potentially push people away from applying for jobs?  And, how can a Twitter response—in other words, an application—count for purposes of applicant tracking? Where could it possibly fit your Affirmative Action plan?

For all the evolution that still needs to happen for Twitter to be a fully functional platform for recruiting and passing along resumes, there have already been some success stories.

Enterasys, a Boston network-infrastructure firm, recruited for a social media marketing position using Twitter exclusively.  They promoted the position by tweets and accepted those interested who tweeted a specified hashtag.  Among other qualifications, candidates needed at least 1,000 Twitter followers on their account.

“I am fairly certain I am going to abandon the résumé process,” Vala Afshar, Enterasys’ chief marketing officer says. “The Web is your CV and social networks are your references.”

Twitter is still far removed from catching up to the likes of LinkedIn, but maybe not as far behind as a lot of people think.  Like a lot of trends in business, it has all begun with those creative, technology-focused jobs.  Give it a little bit of time and some appropriate tweaks, and it could become the norm for everyday business sooner than we think.

ASE has partnered with Tweet My Jobs, the leading job distribution service on Twitter.  For more information, please contact ASE.

Share On: